Bronx Banter Productions presents
JAVY & THE STRIKE ZONE:
Thin Chalk Line Between Love and Hate
(Rated R for scenes of extreme, graphic violence against baseballs thrown by Javier Vazquez)
EXT. ROGERS CENTRE, TORONTO, NIGHT.
JAVIER VAZQUEZ [34, fit, haunted eyes] stands on the mound, tossing warm-up pitches, listless. The STRIKE ZONE [ageless, flirty, too beautiful to trust] approaches, stands at home plate. Waits for him to notice. Vazquez looks over, flinches.
STRIKE ZONE: Hi, Javy. Good to see you. It’s been a while.
Long, awkward pause.
STRIKE ZONE: I’ve missed you–
Behind the Strike Zone, FRANCISCO CERVELLI busily cleans the plate and pretends not to listen, embarrassed.
STRIKE ZONE: Oh, Javy. We were so good together – you know we were.
JAVY: It hasn’t been good for a long time now.
STRIKE ZONE: If only we hadn’t left the National League… we were happy there.
JAVY: Look, I just, I can’t be with you anymore. I don’t want to get hurt again.
STRIKE ZONE: How many times do I have to tell you that I’m sorry? Give me one more chance.
JAVY: After everything… how can I trust you now?
STRIKE ZONE: Please. Just come back, Javy. It’ll be different this time.
Vazquez looks at his shoes, at Cervelli, at the stands. Trying to control his emotions.
JAVY: Dave Eiland says–
STRIKE ZONE: Dave Eiland doesn’t know me, Javy. Not like you do.
JAVY: I need time to think.
STRIKE ZONE: We don’t have any more time! The playoffs start next week, and if you don’t want to be with me, I know Ivan Nova does.
JAVY: You wouldn’t.
STRIKE ZONE: Just look at yourself, Javy. What are you without me?
Vazquez stares deep into the Strike Zone’s eyes.
STRIKE ZONE: Come here, baby. Touch me.
[Vazquez looks for a long moment… sets, and hurls a fastball right down the middle. TRAVIS SNYDER, JOHN BUCK, and AARON HILL hit home runs. The Yankees lose to the Blue Jays, 8-4.]
Let’s all hope we don’t see Vazquez pitch in the playoffs, or I may end up writing a full-length horror film.
On the plus side:
-Alex Rodriguez hit his 30th home run – the 14th time he’s done so (tied for most all-time with one Barry Lamar Bonds), and the 13th consecutive season, which is a record.
-There was also a lovely-seeming pregame ceremony honoring outgoing Toronto manager Cito Gaston, who is retiring on his own terms and earned himself an outpouring of affection from Toronto fans. (I say lovely-seeming because YES didn’t show all of it, and I got home too late for most of what they did show). But I was especially pleased to see that many of the Blue Jays players, by way of a tribute, were wearing fake mustaches to honor their skipper — indeed, Travis Snyder was still wearing his when he hit his home run, which might have been a little insult-to-injury, if it wasn’t so awesome.
If Joe Torre had retired, and gotten a proper sendoff, I wonder what the team would’ve done to honor him. Hold cups of green tea? Look inscrutable? Signal to the bullpen for Scott Proctor?